The Horological Society of New York Debuts “Pocket Genius: The Watch Collection of Alex Ku” Exhibit

Key Points:

  • The new exhibit, “Pocket Genius: The Watch Collection of Alex Ku,” is now open at the Horological Society of New York.
  • The exhibit showcases over 50 timepieces, ranging from time-only pocket watches to highly complicated pieces.
  • Alex Ku, a California-based watch collector, has loaned his curated collection for the exhibit, which will be on view until December 2023.

The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) has unveiled its latest exhibit, “Pocket Genius: The Watch Collection of Alex Ku.” Featuring over 50 remarkable timepieces, the exhibit explores the evolution of watches and the genius of watchmakers throughout history. From time-only pocket watches to intricately complicated pieces, this exhibit showcases the pinnacle of watchmaking craftsmanship.

With timepieces dating from the 1690s to the 1990s, “Pocket Genius” examines the multifaceted roles that watches have played in society. From navigation and timekeeping to being symbols of status and works of art, these watches have stories to tell. Visitors can expect to see extraordinary pieces, including a dumb quarter-repeating jump-hour pocket watch by Abraham-Louis Breguet and a co-axial escapement by Charles Fasoldt. The exhibit also features enameled masterpieces by Patek Philippe for Tiffany & Co. and a complicated timepiece by Louis Chanson with a skeletonized perpetual calendar and lunar indicator.

The collection on display belongs to Alex Ku, a passionate watch enthusiast based in California. Ku has managed to amass an impressive collection of significant watches in just seven years. He believes that holding a pocket watch crafted by a master watchmaker from history is like holding a piece of horological history in one’s hand. He is excited to share his collection with the public so that everyone can appreciate and learn from these remarkable pieces.

The “Pocket Genius” exhibit is housed at HSNY’s Jost Bürgi Research Library and is divided into four sections: “Historical Watchmakers,” “Escapements,” “Complications,” and “Aesthetics.” Visitors will also be treated to a bonus display—a George Daniels co-axial escapement model on loan from British independent watchmaker Roger W. Smith OBE, who was Daniels’ protégé.

“The watches in this exhibit represent the pinnacle of watchmaking craftsmanship and are a testament to the ingenuity of the human mind,” said Nicholas Manousos, HSNY Executive Director. He expressed his gratitude to Alex Ku for his vision in collecting important pocket watches and for making the exhibit possible.

Accompanying the exhibit is a fully illustrated catalog featuring macro photography by Atom Moore, as well as Collector Notes from Alex Ku. The catalog will be available for purchase soon on the HSNY website, with proceeds going towards advancing the art and science of horology—a mission close to HSNY’s heart.

“Pocket Genius” is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10AM to 5PM and admission is free. If you find yourself in New York, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the brilliance of these remarkable timepieces at the Horological Society of New York.

Photography by Atom Moore.

Closing Remarks:

The “Pocket Genius: The Watch Collection of Alex Ku” exhibit at the Horological Society of New York offers a fascinating journey through the history and artistry of watchmaking. With a wide range of timepieces on display, from simple pocket watches to complex masterpieces, this exhibit is a must-visit for watch enthusiasts and anyone interested in the ingenuity of human craftsmanship throughout the centuries. Don’t miss the chance to be awe-inspired by these exceptional timekeeping creations.